Malta is a destination that has eluded me for a long time. Last at the time of Covid. I canceled the first flight last May and then again this February. Again, it was on the verge of giving up. As Slovenia is dark red, it already seemed that another ticket would be wasted. Fortunately, Malta has its own scale and EU countries are OK.
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But there is no end to the problems. On Wednesday night, the storm poured so much rain in a short time that the drains did not swallow and we had a flood on the ground floor of our house. We were awake the whole night, standing in the cold water and cleaning devastation.
The next day I took a vacation and slept a little, but at half-past six I was awakened by an alarm clock and then a co-worker at 9am, so I have joined an online meeting at 11am. We order pizza because we were not able to cook at home. I still cleaned a few things at home but I was not very efficient because of the back problems.
At half-past three Boško drove to my place by bicycle. I quickly finished packing, looking for the car keys. In a hurry, I forget a few things, including flip-flops. Boško sits behind the wheel of the blue arrow because I was too tired to drive. The ride was very touristy, in the meantime, he had an appointment by phone. After an hour and a half of leisurely driving, we parked on P8, € 27 (€ 9 a day, online 10% less), in Italy the toll is € 1.3.
Ronchi Airport in Trieste has been enlarged since I was last in 2014, but it is still small. At the airport in front of the entrance, the temperature is measured by a camera. We skipped the first row because we did an online check. Then another check where I showed a pile of papers (vaccinations, boarding pass, PLF, no one is looking for an additional form from Ryanair) and then again temperature and boarding pass check. Boško is looking for papers on his phone. Then security, but they really didn’t care, i.e. I left the liquids in my backpack. On the other side, time passed slowly. About 50 people are waiting for our flight at the whole airport. We found an empty gate next to the sockets and sat down. There was poor WiFi reception so we moved. I enjoyed a beer, € 3.70 from a duty-free shop. A huge share of people waiting were loud Slovenes.
It was finally time to board. The flight with Ryanair was a € 20 return ticket and lasts 2h, 19:10-21:10. We each sat at our own end. The plane is empty. After takeoff, I stretched over 3 seats for half an hour. From the plane, there was a beautiful view of the Venetian lagoon and later Rome. Boško sat behind me, debated a bit. I ordered a beer so I didn’t need a mask, 5 €. I used the card to pay.
After landing, we done the control, showing a pile of papers again. We were looking for a vending machine for the bus ticket, € 15 for 12 rides. We went from X3 to Bugibba. The driver stepped on the pedal, at first the air conditioner is fully running and later the heating. On the way, we saw a long aqueduct and a huge dome, and a number of churches (365 of them in the country). The road is hilly, winding, full of Burger kings and Decathlons. After exiting the bus at the Bugibba, we walked to the coast. We found a bar near the place we slept at. We drunk a beer, 3 €. Mura lost to Tottenham 5: 1. We were searching for our accommodation, when we found it we were dealing with the code and keys (46 € for 2 days, 2 people, Airbnb). After we settled in and found the bathroom it was time to go to bed at half-past one.
Around 7am I woke up, slightly tired, and found Boško sleeping in the living room as I am snoring terribly. I let him rest and went for a walk to the shore, with the boss debating about the flood. On the way, I stopped at the store (cigarettes, lighter, tangerines, milk, croissants) 10 €. Back in the apartment, time for breakfast, which I bought earlier. Instant coffee was in a weird format.
This was followed by a search for a former apartment from Boško (he lived in Malta 15 years ago for a couple of months ), although it is quite close. Since I forgot them at home, I bought flip-flops for € 3 with a logo from Juventus, worth the money.
From there we took a bus to the beach in Golden Bay (where Boško once worked). We bathe in the bay. The water was warm, about 25 degrees. The beach is sandy, 50 m necessary to walk before you reach deep water. Now it was necessary to dry off, in between, we listened to a bunch of Slovenian tourists and Serbian bay watch guards. We’ve been in the bay for about an hour.
The path took us further to Valletta. The town on the peninsula is surrounded by massive walls. A walk around the city along the walls and along the steep, cobbled streets, where there are a huge number of churches and important buildings, everything is in yellow sand color. We found a bar where the beer was € 2.5, in the meantime, Robert called me.
McDonald’s, Big Mac menu + cheese burger € 8.8 takes care of hunger. At the main bus station, we bought another card for 12 rides.
We were now driving south, to the village of Marsaxlokk. There was an interesting port with traditional colored boats kajjik and luzzu. We walked around, but after visiting the port, there was also a fish restaurant or a little further beach.
Since it is not the end of the day, we were now driving to the cliffs. We were a little confused in Mdina where we had to change buses. We came to the Dingli cliffs. After arriving at a spot with a lot of tourists, there were really no cliffs, they were a couple of kilometers to the south. We saw them from afar and we were already quite close to them, but a storm from the sea was approaching us, and bolts of lightning convinced us to turn back.
It was a long ride back to Bugibba. For dinner, kebab and beer for € 7.5, good. Since this was not enough, there was also a slice of pizza € 2 with a high rating but not worth mentioning. Because we can, we also has ice cream 3 €, hazelnut was OK, mango not. After the shower, it was time for bed. Because of snoring, I went into the living room. But I couldn’t fall asleep because the neighbors had a party, the traffic was loud, the couch was uncomfortable. In the middle of the night, one drunk roommate from the next room woke me up and asked me why I sleep in the living room. Soon others got up in the morning from other rooms and next door they start drilling. In short, I slept almost nothing.
It was raining outside. Boško went out for coffee and to the store. I was looking for a hairdresser, but I was out of luck, there are 5 plus people everywhere already waiting. We took a bus to Popay village. We changed bus at Mellieha, where there is a big church, and shelter from the Second World War.
While we are waiting for the next ride, we ordered a beer, € 7.20. I bought postcards for € 3 at the kiosk. On arrival, from the cliff, we saw a village from a movie. It didn’t convince us to pay for a ticket. On the opposite side, a demolished pier, where we descend. Boško took a swim there, I was resting. We missed the next bus and went on foot.
We turn on a shortcut where there is macadam, puddles. I pick a pomegranate. One path is blocked by dogs, next was the path through the resort. We waited for the bus at the station, the first one drives by. The second one picked us up but didn’t stop at the red tower.
We ended at the port. It only rained there in all of Malta. So we didn’t cross over to Gozo or Comino in this weather. While we waited for the rain to stop together with the Spaniards, we ordered a beer at the kiosk, € 3.
Again the bus, this time to Sliema, in between a little nap. There I ordered kofte wrap (quasi ćevap in wrap) from a Lebanese place for € 7.50. We sat by the shore and ate.
We took the ferry back to Valletta, € 1.5. Beer from the store for 1.5 € and sitting on the stairs. It started to rain and we observed cars having a slope problem.
Not to hide under the balcony before the rain, we headed to Mc again. We stay there for more than 2 hours to wait for the rain to stop, we spend around € 25 because we order something 3x. A walk in the evening Valletta revealed quite a lively nightlife.
One last time on the bus to the airport. It seems that the bus had a detour, but we were soon at the entrance without any major problems. Since we had a flight just after 6am, we decide to spend the night at the airport. The best location is the food court. It was noisy, hot, chairs were moved, but I still slept on the bench for about an hour.
We were up at half-past four. I went out for a cigarette where it’s raining quite a bit.
We had to do another check-in even though we have no luggage to check-in and we have done online check-in. They gave us a piece of paper. Waiting at the gate, we ate cookies, in between the toilet, and when I went for a cigarette they were already calling us for boarding. Luckily the plane was fairly empty again and I could snuggle over 3 seats. The plane is 2 hours late due to a stair breakdown. Finally, we flew off. On the way I ordered a beer for 5 €, I bought with it some time without a mask. Boško joined, eating walnuts, signing postcards.
We picked up the car in the parking lot and headed to Miramar Castle, paid € 1.3 for the motorway, it started to rain. We stopped there anyway and took a short walk.
When we sat in the cafe, the rain stopped completely, coffee and a small beer were 7.5 €. Now it was only necessary to arrive home. Everything from the sun, fog, to the downpour happened on the way. Refueling close to the home, € 14.50. We said goodbyes and I unpacked, ate, and fell asleep in front of the TV.
General – Malta
Malta is a small (315 km2) island country in the Mediterranean, densely populated (approximately half a million inhabitants) and heavily built (and new buildings emerging on a large scale). The country is rich in history (from the Stone Age, antiquity, the Middle Ages to the present) because it is in a strategic position. Even today, this is visible in society, for example, Maltese is a subspecies of Arabic and the other official language is English. Their main source of income is tourism (2 million tourists a year). Economically, it is somewhere close to Slovenia.
Transport – Malta
You usually arrive in the country by plane to the only international airport or by ferry from Sicily. A network of roads is wide and you can move easily around the country. You can rent a cheap car, but the roads are narrow, winding, steep, and they drive on the opposite side. Gasoline is a little cheaper than back home. Buses provide easy transportation across the country. I suggest buying a card for 12 rides for 15 € (we did about 200 km by bus in 2 days). One ride includes all transfers within 2h. It is possible to rent a bike, but it is quite dangerous on their roads. Someone hit Boško with a car years ago and he got stitches. The ferry connects the main island with Gozo and Comino islands in the north and the capital with Salina. Of course, there is the option of moving on foot, especially in Valletta and the surrounding towns, which are combined into one metropolitan area. However, the sidewalks are high and fairly uneven. We probably walked 10-15 km a day.
Accomodation – Malta
If you would like convenience there is a bunch of hotels available here, I suggest you search for it through booking.com. A more homely atmosphere is renting through Airbnb, where you rent a room or even a whole apartment (we paid 46 €, 2 nights, 2 people, got a very good price). This is a very widespread option throughout the country. It is also possible to camp, but the camps are quite basic equipped. Some risk camping in the wild.
What to visit – Malta?
Malta offers quite a few attractions in a small space:
- as a Mediterranean island there is the sea with a beach, swimming, diving / snorkeling
- the cliffs cover much of the coast and are one of the few natural things to see
- Valletta, a fortified capital
- churches, one of 365, although on the outside simple yellow color they have rich equipment (e.g. Caravaggio – paintings)
- monolithic remains from the Stone Age even after 6,000 years, several sites
- colorful port of Marsaxlokk
- Popay village – I suggest you go there if you have a child, otherwise leave it out, or swim there on the other side of the bay
Food and drinks – Malta
Unfortunately, authentic local cuisine is being replaced by popular food for tourists. From a huge amount of fast-food chains to food adapted to tourists (mostly English). Of course, there is a lot of seafood here. For the locals, rabbit is a common dish. The drink is internationally colored again. The local beer is Cisk. They lack drinking water, so they desalinated seawater, which is drinkable but has a strange taste.
Costs – Malta
This weekend cost us around € 300, everything included. More precisely per person, flight ticket € 20, accommodation € 23, bus € 15, car € 22 (petrol, parking, toll), food and drinks € 60, miscellaneous € 10.
Weather – Malta
In early October, the weather was nice, temperatures were between 25 and 30 degrees, the water temperature was 25 degrees. It is true that it rained for half a day. If we look throughout the year: summers are too hot, the water does not get too warm, there is almost no rain, in spring and autumn temperatures are still above 20 degrees, autumn is a little rainier, but also nights and water are warmer, winter never goes to minus, temperatures are between 15 and 20, the chance of rain is 50%. Having said that, I would prefer to choose September, but everyone has their own preferences.